Q: What can you expect?
A: As you attempt to be your own contractor, you may be surprised to experience just how irresponsible and unreliable human beings can be! It is likely that you will have contractors who do not show up when they say they will. They will probably fail to return your phone calls, forget what you tell them, and neglect to ask you about important decisions. However, if you know this in advance, you will be prepared to be extra vigilant and energetic in executing your tasks. It is not easy to be your own contractor, but it can be very satisfying to overcome the many challenges.
Q: What is the first step to be your own general contractor?
A: First, you need to check with your local residential building inspection office for your municipality. You may be required to obtain a license. Hopefully, however, you will be exempt if you are not using corporate entities for your house ownership or your general contracting activities. In other words, If Joe Smith is general contracting on a house that Joe Smith owns, then it’s probably not going to require a license. However, if Joe Smith sets up ABC Corporation to renovate a house owned by XYZ Corporation, then a license may be required.
Contact an attorney or CPA for advice regarding whether or not it would be worth it to set up a corporation for any reason.
Q: How will you know how much labor is supposed to cost?
A: You will not know for sure, but as discussed in finding contractors, it is important to get multiple bids and compare them. As with almost anything when trying to be your own general contractor, ask an architect or other professional for help when you have a question.